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help exchange   Host 14224
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All Year: Yes
Area (ha): 40
Persons: 1-2
Category: Organic Farmstay
Host ID: 14224
Region: Ontario

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Last Updated: September 16, 2015

***We are currently looking for helpers for short and long term stays.

This is a unique opportunity to be part of one of the few permaculture farms in Ontario. With our fifth growing season under our belts we are out of our infancy and have a young but well established market garden/food forest. We are now moving into niche crops. Our farm totals 100 acres with about 30 acres of young forest and 70 acres of meadow/gardens.

We are currently (Sep 30/14) looking for renters who are interested in creating personal income here on the farm in partnership with us. We have 3 bedrooms, one for $600/month (large enough for a couple at $650/month), one for $500 and one for $400, all inclusive. The person would have to be employed off farm to pay rent for their living space here, while also working on the farm to build personal income. Income generating possibilities are endless, including indoor and out. We are specifically looking for someone interested in taking over and expanding our microgreens operation for which we have an established customer base (because our seasonal intern is leaving and there is currently no one to take over). However, we have other indoor projects in mind as well and are open to suggestions with viable business plans from renters. The end goal for this scenario is to build your on-farm income in order to let the off-farm job go. Or to maintain both, depending on preference of course.

Growing season tasks for regular helpx-ers include:
-Mulch/weed our 2 acres of no-tillage vegetable garden
-Build more cold frames
-Transplant black currants, gooseberries, and more fruit trees
-Sell to local restaurants, at farmers markets, foodbox programs, and distributors
-Construct trellis structures
-Wild food/medicine harvesting
-Prune and rehabilitate our fruit/nut trees and wild apple trees

Our methods of cultivation are rooted in natural farming and permaculture methods. As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to learn about and/or practice the following methods of bed preparation:
-No-tillage sheet mulching
-Hugelkultur mounds
-Ramial chipped branch wood
-Hay bale instant gardens
-Living mulch/Fukuoka style gardens
-Mulch mound garden beds

You will have the chance to learn some season extension techniques: using floating row covers, cloches, a small greenhouse, and cold frames. Interns also have the opportunity to learn about eating seasonally, including food preservation and storage for the winter.

You'll also be exposed to polyculture/companion planting methods, organic pest control, biodynamic techniques (e.g., moon-phase planting, compost tea, tree paste), and the use and care of chicken/duck tractors.

Interns will either stay in the main house or the nearby camping trailer. The kitchen and pantry will be shared in the main house, as will clean-up duties. Much of the food supply will come straight from the land once crops start maturing. If desired, transportation can be provided for occasional trips to nearby towns (Omemee, Lindsay, Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Peterborough, etc.)

What is expected of full season volunteers:

-40 hours per week of work on the farm minimum
-Filling out time sheets
-Both self-directed/unsupervised, and team work
-Ability to follow through on specific instructions

-Preference will be given to those with previous farming/gardening experience but it is not a necessity
-Passion for sustainable farming is a must
-Physically fit with good endurance and tolerance for working outside in all weather conditions
-Dedicated hard worker who is able to work alone or as part of a team
-Able to carry out compound instructions with little to no supervision
-Willing to eat a predominantly (but not exclusively) vegan or vegetarian diet
-Someone who is alright to be around animals as we have dogs, cats, horses, and pigs

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